Menu Home

Memory culture

Vedas

Through sophisticated mnemonics and error-checking mechanisms the Vedas, the canonical religious texts of Hinduism, have been transmitted orally for three and a half thousand years with shocking precision in both word and sound.

Word frequency laws

Books

In 1945 the linguist George Zipf observed two strange word frequency phenomena: the longer a word is, the less common it is; and the most common word is used twice as much as the second most common, three times more than the third.